London’s schools vary tremendously in terms of the standard of education and the quality of the facilities they offer. As a general rule of thumb, the better schools tend to be in the more affluent areas of the city.

State schools (public) and independent schools (private) are the two main types of institutions in London. There are also international schools catering to the expat population. If you are staying in London for the short term, you might find international schools to be the ideal choice. Those planning to stay in the city for the long haul often prefer local public schools, as these are usually of a good standard and can be attended free of charge.

State schools in London

State schools are run by the government, follow the national curriculum, and give priority to pupils resident in the catchment area. This means that you should consider where you want to have your child schooled when choosing an area or suburb in London to settle in.

The best place to start when looking for a local school is online. You can use a school finder online and input a postcode to find all the schools near your prospective home. You can also look for a school in each London borough by visiting your local council website.

Useful links

Private schools in London

Independent schools are privately run, charge high fees, and typically offer a superior standard of education along with first-rate facilities for students to pursue a variety of extracurricular activities.

Most private schools in London follow the National English Curriculum, but some have introduced the International Baccalaureate programme as an option for education after the age of 16. Some private schools teach through a religious lens, such as Christianity, or use an alternative education philosophy, such as Montessori.

Read more about the Best Private Schools in London.

International schools in London

A third option that is popular with expats is international schools. These institutions offer the opportunity for your child to continue with the curriculum of their home country, while the familiar modes and language used for instruction can also be comforting for expat children.

Be warned, though, that fees for these schools can run extremely high – particularly so for reputable international schools. There are also additional costs for things such as uniforms, school lunches, and extracurricular activities.

Read more about the Best International Schools in London.

Special-needs education in London

The British government has a comprehensive Special Educational Needs (SEN) programme. All mainstream schools in the UK have a Special Educational Needs Consultant, or SENCO. If you think your child may need assistance, you can get in touch with the SENCO, who will assess your child and arrange extra support according to their needs. This may include implementing a special learning programme, making provisions within the school for your child’s disability, or arranging extra help from a teacher or assistant.

If your child requires more support than the school is able to provide, local authorities should be contacted regarding the development of a personalised Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

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Tutors in London

Education is highly valued in the UK, with around a quarter of secondary school pupils receiving extra tuition. The country’s private tutoring industry is said to be worth billions of pounds. There is a wide range of tutors to choose from, some of which specialise in particular subjects or age groups. Some top tutoring agencies in London include Mentor Education, Enjoy Education, and Explore Learning.

Tutors can be especially useful to new arrivals, giving your child extra support in areas such as catching up with the local curriculum, developing English-language skills, or just a bit of confidence.

Useful links

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

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